This impedes students from acquiring habits of intellectual responsibility. Far too often, teachers and texts insist upon a “verdictive” approach, a politicized view of issues. Whatever your stance regarding the “culture wars” and the politics of higher education, it is undeniable that a great many graduating students have little idea of what genuine intellectual exploration involves. Too often, learning to think is replaced by ideological scorekeeping, and the use of adjectives replaces the use of arguments….
We didn’t know quite what to do with this story
CLINTON, N.Y. — Officials at a central New York college say they’re looking into a police chief’s claims that hundreds of rowdy students “took over” the village during off-campus parties that spilled onto neighboring properties.
The Observer-Dispatch of Utica reports (http://bit.ly/17TpL7C ) Town of Kirkland Police Chief Dan English told a town board meeting Monday night that about 300 Hamilton College students became unruly while partying Saturday night at several homes in the village of Clinton.
English says the students “took over the village” while roaming the streets and spilling onto the lawns of neighboring homes. He says two town officers and a state trooper brought the situation under control…
until we found this one in the Washington Free Beacon.
” Unfortuantely, we did not meet our alumni participation goal of 50 percent.”
Congratulations to Mr. Cheeseman.
Readers may revisit his letter published previously on this site about the state of academics and administration at Hamilton College from the student’s perspective:
You won’ find it in the alumni news letter.
The monologue at Hamilton College: your tuition dollars and donations at work.
The panelists came from diverse backgrounds representing North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa, ensuring that each individual would bring a unique set of experiences to the table. The hosts were Gretha Suarez ’15 and Carol Antunez ’15. Panelists included Ming-De Xu, East Asian Languages & Literatures (Chinese); Juana Sabadell-Nieto, Hispanic studies, Nigel Westmaas, Africana Studies; Alan Cafruny, the Henry Platt Bristol Professor of International Affairs; Amit Taneja, director of the Days-Massolo Center; Janet Turvey, assistant to the chief diversity officer; Fidaa Abuassi, Fulbright FLTA Fellow; and Sadiq Abubakar ’15.
No panelist identified him or herself as fully American. Rather, each spoke to their experiences with American people, and the extent to which they felt they had adopted the U.S. culture. Cafruny, the only “natural born U.S. citizen” on the panel expressed discomfort with the idea of nationalism as it relates to any country and prefers to represent himself as a global citizen.
Comparative quality is always of interest. See the link to the Alexander Hamilton’s recent colloquium Samuel Huntington and the Clash of Civilizations. Note the speakers of national prominence.
For a stark contrast, consider the speech by a Hamilton student and AHI fellow, Deal Ball, which nearly upstaged the keynote speaker, Dr. James Kurth, Claude Smith Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College and one of Samuel Huntington’s former students.
After that brief respite, and as they might say in Eduland TV, we return you now to our normal programming. For the students, parents, and alumni of Hamilton that would be summarized by, well … read the article.
Note: if you have problems getting to the article What Does it Mean to be an American? let us know, and we’ll get you a copy.
Click below to watch the launch of the NAS report What Does Bowdoin Teach? in New York City on April 3, 2013, hosted by the Manhattan Institute. Bill Bennett was the keynote speaker.
If it weren’t from the Onion one might never know…
The National Association of Scholars has produced a remarkable study that should be of interest to all
- alumni of Hamilton College
- alumni of all the NESCAC schools or any liberal arts college
- parents of current students
- parents of prospective students
It is a long report and extensively documented. Some of the facts of campus culture are not pleasant, none in dispute. Alumni of Hamilton will find much familiar turf: same stuff, different place.
Bowdoin happens to be the lucky winner of this particular explication. The questions & issues raised in this report warrant broad distribution to all parties at interest, so share it with your friends. It also warrants serious review by Bowdoin’s trustees.
See The Golf Shot Heard Round the Academic World in the Wall Street Journal.
The title of the study is WHAT DOES BOWDOIN TEACH? HOW A CONTEMPORARY LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE SHAPES STUDENTS.
The phenomena is not unique to Bowdoin.
If one were to replace “Bowdoin College” with “Hamilton College” some of the gory details would change (some for the worse) but the substance and findings of the report would in the main still be accurate.
- Dr. Richard Vedder, President of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity
- Dr. Robert Kraynak, Director of the Center for Freedom and Western Civilization at Colgate University and a Senior Fellow of the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization.
- Anne Neal, President of American Council of Trustees and Alumni and Director of the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization
A Speech Too Far from the Pope Center.
See the article Hamilton’s Diversity Problem
“The apparatus has grown so vast and intertwined over the years that the college had to establish a “Diversity Coordinating Council” comprised of the Chief Diversity Officer, the Director of Opportunity Programs and Pathways, the Director of Diversity Recruitment, the Director of the Diversity and Social Justice Project, the Director of the aforementioned Days-Massolo Center, the Associate Dean of Students for Multicultural Affairs, among others.”
See also the posting below.
We are reliably informed that Cornell West was paid $30,000 to speak at Hamilton. We would like to see a transcript of his speech and will publish it if we can.
The following appeared in the Hamilton College Spectator. It seems nothing has changed since the days of the excesses of Kirkland Project, and we recall the adventures of Ward Churchill, Susan Rosenberg et al.
The responses of the President and the administrators evidence the continuing failure of the Trustees to examine in sober manner the politicized culture of Hamilton, within and without the classroom. The scope of ideological hegemony remains well funded, seemingly unchanged. More particularly it seems to be institutionalized in the administration of the budget, either unexamined or approved. In any case the relevant data is inaccessible to outside alumni and from that perspective unaudited by disinterested parties.
The fundemental issue has been renamed, re-branded, fortified, and institutionalized. The Trustees seemingly turn a willful blind eye, again, to a hostility that seems to have been extended from certain faculty members to now include, increasingly, a growing number of students. Dean Reynolds advises the student to “desist from emailing me on this subject further.” President Stewart unsurprisingly concludes there is no problem (how could there be, really?) and that everything is fine. Funny how students think otherwise and so documented it. We reproduce it in whole because in the past things on the Spectator have a habit of disappearing from the view of alumni.
By Dean Ball ‘14
March 7, 2013
Hamilton has a diversity problem, and it’s not the one you’re thinking of. Walk up to any poster display space in Sadove, KJ, Beinecke, or the Science Center. Look for events sponsored officially by the College (the President’s office, the Dean of Students, the Dean of Faculty, the Days-Massolo Center, etc.). Do you notice any similarities?
Perhaps you spot Dr. Wendy Doniger’s upcoming lecture on the “political framework of gender in the Kamasutra,” sponsored by the Dean of Faculty, among other offices. Or perhaps you see Marvin Sterling’s talk on Japanese reggae, paid for by the Days-Massolo Center and the Chief Diversity Office. You might find, much to your chagrin, that you missed Bat Sheva Marcus’ riveting lecture entitled “Exploring Possibilities of Pleasure”. Your eye will no doubt also be drawn to one of the biggest events of the semester: Dr. Cornel West’s lecture for the Voices of Color series. If you’re beginning to see a trend, you just might have put your finger on Hamilton’s latest diversity problem.
Each year, with the multitude of funding sources at its disposal, this college spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring speakers to the Hill. There is no reason why we cannot enjoy the benefits of inviting speakers with a wide range of academic, philosophical, social and political perspectives. And yet there is a remarkable lack of diversity in the lectures this college officially funds.
By my count, Hamilton has officially funded only one right-of-center speaker since the beginning of last semester. For the entire academic year, not one figure whose thinking could reasonably be described as Republican, conservative, libertarian or classically liberal has been invited by the college administration to speak about a political issue on this campus, save one event.
Maybe there’s no one trying to bring right-of-center speakers to campus? The college community does, after all, tend to skew to the left. The Alexander Hamilton Institute (AHI) is an independent organization (of which I am a student leader) in Clinton founded in 2006 by some of Hamilton’s finest professors. One of the reasons behind its formation was the lack of intellectual diversity at Hamilton. Almost every right of center lecture on campus since I came to Hamilton has been sponsored fully or in significant part by the AHI, though we sponsor left of center speakers as well.
Just last semester, we began arrangements to bring Dr. Kenneth Minogue, one of the most lauded political thinkers of our time, to speak about the compatibility of social justice with liberty. Dr. Minogue’s latest book, The Servile Mind, is a critical analysis of modern democracies’ effect on morality; his work is thought-provoking and insightful. It seemed like the perfect time to approach the administration about the lack of diversity among speakers. I believed, as many of you probably do, that college officials would jump at the opportunity to help foster intellectual diversity.
I spoke first to Dean of Faculty Patrick Reynolds, who explained to me that his office did not support student events. That was fine, I told him, but why do so many events credit his office and various student groups as “co-sponsors?” Further, if I were to get a professor’s support–and I had the support of more than one—could I then apply to his office for funding? Dean Reynolds replied that my questions were “not productive,” and asked me to “desist from emailing me on this subject further.” Shocked that a college official would respond so tersely to a few simple questions, I contacted President Stewart’s office for a meeting. Not only did she claim to have no funds at her disposal (not even enough for a small, symbolic gesture), she went so far as to say she couldn’t see a problem with intellectual diversity on campus. Imagine the frustration and surprise I felt when I saw her office (as well as Dean Reynolds’s) listed as a funding sponsor for Dr. West’s lecture.
There are many kinds of diversity, and Hamilton is profoundly fortunate to have the prestige and wealth to foster all of them. On an administrative level, the college is laser-focused on some forms of diversity and entirely blind to others. Why? I wish I had an answer. What I do know, however, is that the student body doesn’t share the administration’s blindness.
The Student Assembly agreed late last semester to fund Dr. Minogue’s lecture in full. He will give his talk in April. But the Student Assembly should not and cannot bear the burden of supporting intellectual diversity on its own, especially when Hamilton’s administration vigorously promotes and funds a seemingly endless range of diversity-based programming. It’s time that the administration and the Hamilton community reflect on what we mean when we use the term “diversity.” Until we do, there is little hope that our campus will ever be truly diverse.
As they say in TV-land, we now return to our normal programming (excerpted below), and one is compelled to wonder to what purpose is it directed?
The Female Orgasm
Ever wanted to know how to make your girlfriend achieve a mind-blowing and toe curling orgasm? Always wondered why guys fake foreplay? Don’t worry—the Womyn’s Center, in partnership with the Emerson Literary Society have you covered. Join us for ninety minutes of astonishing knowledge with Marshall Miller and Dorian Solot, authors of I <3 Female Orgasm, that’s sure to provide a little steam to your dorm room. For more information about the Female Orgasm presentation check out sexualityeducation.com.
We recall the comments of another Hamilton student on the same phenomena, different form:
Keep your eyes out for this: The Bowdoin Project. It will be a detailed and documented study of Bowdoin College’s academic and intellectual life. The final project should be out in April. Hamilton alumni take note.
What is the fallacy of the broken window?
How Universities Devalued Higher Education - on grade inflation.
What are the stats at Hamilton? Is grade inflation an issue? Is grade inflation more prevalent in some disciplines than others, for example in humanities or social sciences vs math & hard sciences?
Applicants, parents & alumni should have an interest.
Word is getting out: How not to waste four years in school
“Why reward quality when you can just redistribute wealth?” - Adam K.
“claims … he told the top two officials in the Human Resources department at a Sept. 10 meeting “that interns were being ‘used’ to work what was essentially ‘slave labor.’”
We are pleased to present the 2012 Annual Report of the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization.
Who would have thought? Five years of success and growth.
Please consider supporting the AHI in your annual gifting or estate planning. Their work, the promotion of civic and economic literacy and the development of programming to promote the study of markets, democracy and freedom, is more important than ever.
The success of the program is marked by the accomplishments of the students who participate in their programs. The AHI is developing the farm team who will assume the mantle of tomorrow’s leaders in traditional scholarship, policy, business, and media.